5 Things We Learned... Deverell Smith
DEVERELL SMITH, RETAIL ARCHITECTURE AND DEVELOPMENT
SAN JOSE, CA
Deverell Smith doesn’t limit himself to one career niche or interest. Yes, he’s an award-winning designer and architect; but, he’s also a former professional cyclist, creative director of a venerable cocktail club (see the Anchor Spa), and an enthusiast for tailored suits - some of which he’s also designed. The latter interest was further fueled during his stint in Hong Kong while serving as the director of store development at Tiffany & Co. I know Deverell as a colleague I could always rely on for a supportive second opinion. He’s a patient teammate who is great at maintaining a higher level outlook, no matter how challenging a project becomes. In 2015, he was named as one of the 40 under 40 for top retail professionals in design: retail magazine. In addition to his work at Tiffany & Co., Deverell has consulted on retail design for other top industry brands such as Lancôme, Coach, and Calvin Klein. He currently works at Apple, leading multi-disciplinary teams to design, engineer, construct and maintain significant retail locations across the globe.
Here are 5 Things We Learned about Deverell.
What made you...you?
Intense curiosity and an attraction to fear, encouraged by the thrill of achievement.
When are you happiest?
I’m happy when I accomplish something. I’m most happy when I accomplish something that pushes the needle further along the gauge of the doable. That gauge is small when we are young. If we engage our curiosity and stubborn fearlessness we can continue to push the needle and make our “gauge of the doable” larger and larger. Things that we once saw as impossible become easy. How can we inspire that hunger and ambition to grow infinitely?
Would you rather have a muse or be a muse?
Is it not possible to be both? We are all products of our environments. Is it truly possible to take full credit of your own accomplishments…while knowing that there is a host of characters, experiences and inspirations that are owed credit as well?
Who do you admire?
I admire the misfits. Those that defy convention. They dare to be different. They see things that others can’t. They dare to follow their dreams despite what others expect of them. They challenge themselves. They set trends. They redefine excellence. I admire my mother. My very first example. An African American. A women...from the South during the era of Jim Crow and the Civil Rights Movement. Someone daring and curious enough to venture down a long, unknown and “dangerous” road to discover what few in her experience had thought possible, mobility, a college degree, a life of independence, integrity, and an executive position at one of the largest financial institutions of the time.
What is important?
…a sense of self
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Images from left to right: Deverell Smith; The Anchor Spa, New Haven, CT. - a recent bar where we re-developed a historic cocktail bar from 1939; Tiffany & Co. Las Vegas: A happy accident on a past project that holds a dear place in my heart. (I won my first major design award for this project.) The ceiling and stair are separate forms. However from this exterior view, I love how the ceiling and stair appear as a single element...a tornado of light. Photo by Tiffany & Co.; Booking photo of Rosa Parks, a reminder that some of the most simple actions may have the most profound effect on our lives and others; New York City...a "school" that taught me so much growing up; Me...I’m a little older now. Though representing myself with this photo reminds me to take risks and charge through life with an element of unbiased and innocent curiosity